The viral photoshoot sent shockwaves through the conservative Sheikhdom of Dubai
At least 11 Ukrainian models who posed naked on a balcony in Dubai will be deported.
The women were facing years in jail after footage from the daylight photoshoot went viral, sending shockwaves through the conservative emirate, where foreigners are often punished for tamer offences.
They were detained earlier this week, along with a male Russian photographer, on charges of public debauchery and producing pornography.
But following an unusually speedy investigation, Dubai’s Attorney General Essam Issa al-Humaidan said those behind the shoot would be sent back to their countries, without elaborating further.
Dubai police declined to identify anyone involved, while the Ukrainian and Russian authorities confirmed their citizens had been arrested on Tuesday. The nationalities of the other women are not yet known.
The swift deportation is rare for the legal system in Dubai, where cases like this typically go to trial.
‘The public prosecutor ordered the deportation of the accused for their behaviour contrary to public morals,’ al-Humaidan said, adding the women had been charged with violating the country’s public decency law.
Dubai is a top destination for the world’s Instagram influencers and models, who fill their social media feeds with selfies from the luxury hotels and artificial islands.
The models will be deported back to their home countries
The women were arrested on charges of public debauchery and producing pornography
Foreigners can face years in jail for much tamer offences
But the city’s brand as a glitzy foreign tourist destination often collides with the sheikhdom’s strict rules governing public behaviour and expression.
The nude photoshoot scandal came just days before Ramadan, the holiest month of the Muslim calendar, and as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky landed in nearby Doha, Qatar, for an official state visit.
Over the years, Dubai has increasingly promoted itself as a popular destination for Russians on holiday. Signs in Cyrillic are a common sight at the city’s major malls.
The pro-Kremlin tabloid Life identified the Russian man arrested as the head of an information technology firm in Russia’s Ivanovo region, though his firm denied he had anything to do with the photoshoot.
Stanislav Voskresensky, the governor of Ivanovo, asked the Russian Foreign Ministry and Russia’s ambassador to the UAE to offer the Russian man their support.
‘We don’t abandon our own,’ Voskresensky wrote on social media.
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